So what is it about Kimpton properties that is so appealing? I think it is the combination of being both stylish and friendly. I have stayed in trendy properties where the staff adopts a "cooler than thou" attitude which is grating. I have stayed in friendly places that were slightly worn. But the combination of attitude and qualtiy is terrific.
The freebies make what would otherwise be an expensive hotel a good value.
When my wife and I arrived, we were greeted at the front desk with a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday" for my wife (I had mentioned it when making a reservation). But the front desk staff was so cool, the gesture did not seem forced at all. When we got settled, the hotel sent up a bottle of French sparkling wine and a platter of truffles and chocolate covered strawberries, gratis.
The room was huge and clean, and the bathroom was roomy as well (Aveda toiletries a plus). Water pressure was great, and the towels were high quality. As an Kimpton In-touch member I got free wireless and a free item from the mini-bar. There was free coffee in the lobby in the morning and both the Washington Post and the New York Times. Again, I was struck by the concerted effort at friendliness; these guys could give seminars to other hospitality industry staff.
The neighborhood is great: the edge of Dupont Circle within striking distance of Georgetown and Foggy Bottom. We walked to a restaurant and the Kennedy Center.
I got a great rate for a slow time of year: $109.00.
I give this place a slight edge over the Hotel Monaco in Penn Quarter. Hotel Monaco has a slightly friendlier staff and grander public spaces. But the Monaco's rooms are significantly smaller. Room size beats public spaces everytime for me. And while Penn Quarter is great, I give an edge to the Palomar's location which is close to three great areas (Dupont Circle, Georgetown and Foggy Bottom).
Some relatively minor quibbles. Parking is outrageous. I was charged $38.00 plus a "parking tax" that drove it to over $44.00, even more expensive than the Monaco. The fitness center is just O.K. And a bellman was not as carefull as I would have liked in packing our trunk (some very slight damage to an item we had bought earlier). But staying at the Palomar is very comfortable. Unlike other four star properties, you are not charged for every little thing. I did not bring my pet this time, but the no pet fee policy is generous.
Only the Ritz-Carlton rivals Kimpton when it comes to national chains in my experience.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Timeless sophistication meets contemporary style at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar Washington DC. This luxury boutique hotel provides flawless service and exquisite amenities in engagingly innovative surroundings. Located within Washington's historic Dupont Circle, this Kimpton Hotel and its lively Urbana restaurant are a short walk to Georgetown and the city's largest concentration of private art galleries, museums, theaters, shops and restaurants. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kimpton Washington Dc